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Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes scrambles against defense of Whitney Mercilus of the Houston Texans during the AFC Divisional playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2020 in Kansas City, Mo.

Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Kansas City will open its title defence at home against the Houston Texans on Thursday, Sept. 10, the NFL announced Thursday evening while revealing the entire 2020 schedule.

Tom Brady’s first game as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be on the road against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 13.

The Saints will then be part of another first in Week 2, participating in the Raiders’ initial home game in Las Vegas. The contest will be the Monday night game on Sept. 21.

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The inaugural game at SoFi Stadium, the new home of the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers, will see the Rams playing host to the Dallas Cowboys on the night of Sept. 13.

The NFL plans to start its season on time despite the new coronavirus pandemic. Contingency plans reportedly were built into the schedule. The 17-week regular season is due to conclude Jan. 3, and the playoffs are due to culminate with the Super Bowl on Feb. 7 in Tampa.

The Brady effect on the Buccaneers was palpable, as Tampa Bay was scheduled for five prime-time games after playing just one night game last season during a 7-9 campaign. The six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback signed a two-year, US$50-million deal with the Bucs in March, and one of his favourite former targets, tight end Rob Gronkowski, subsequently came out of retirement and was dealt from the New England Patriots to the Bucs.

Tampa Bay’s night games are Oct. 8 at Chicago, Oct. 25 at Las Vegas, Nov. 2 at the New York Giants, Nov. 8 against New Orleans and Nov. 23 vs. the Rams.

The Patriots, even with Brady gone, will be in prime time five times.

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